|For the Week Ending March 23, 2018|
Please enjoy this quick update on what happened this week in the housing and financial markets.
|As expected, the Fed raised policy rates at this week's meeting. While they alluded to only two more hikes this year, rising inflation could necessitate more.|
|The institution of tariffs, most recently against China, can contribute to rising inflation by limiting free markets. Inflation fuels rising interest and mortgage rates.|
|After rising quickly early in the year, mortgage rates have stabilized. Nonetheless, further increases are expected through the rest of the year.|
|Existing home sales were up 3% in February, despite a chronic shortage of inventory. That's 1.1% higher than February 2017, showing strong demand.|
|Tight inventory, especially for homes in the lower price ranges, is the new normal. Housing inventory was down 8.1% from a year ago this time.|
|Along with interest rates, rents have been rising. A recent survey concluded that the largest 250 U.S. cities saw rents grow year over year by an average of 2.7%.|
Rate movements and volatility are based on published, aggregate national averages and measured from the previous to the most recent midweek daily reporting period. These rate trends can differ from our own and are subject to change at any time.